Time availability for 3D tiles

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Brian Ellingson

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Jan 30, 2020, 10:45:38 AM1/30/20
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Hi everyone! I opened a pull request a while ago, and I'd love to get some additional feedback on it. 


I added an optional field in the tileset.json file that allows the user to specify an availability window per tile. If the current time is outside of a tile's availability it will be excluded from the selectedTiles array. This is a helpful feature for those making animations by reapplying styles (https://cesium.com/blog/2018/11/08/weather-prediction-data-time-series-and-3d-tiles/) as the clock time changes because the style is only applied to the tiles in the selectedTiles array, yielding a substantial performance gain with very large or dense datasets. The usecase that drove this is visualizing high density airborne radar data. I have a link to an example in the pull request for anyone interested to see the application. It shows data collected by HIWRAP aboard NASA's ER2 during the OLYMPEX campaign (https://ghrc.nsstc.nasa.gov/hydro/details/gpmhiwrapolyx).

Some of the benefits of this over the existing TimeDynamicPointCloud are (I use "frame" to refer to the content being displayed in a given instance of time):
  • You can further organize your frames by levels of resolution.
  • You don't need to duplicate points across frames if it lingers longer than the time difference between frames.
  • You can add time dynamics to existing tilesets by simply modifying tileset.json.
  • This allows for time dynamics for tile types other than point cloud.


I've really enjoyed using Cesium, and I hope that my small modification can be useful for other developers too.

Omar Shehata

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Feb 3, 2020, 4:03:25 PM2/3/20
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Thanks for sharing this here Brian!

It's really cool reading about the larger context this project was created in. Hopefully we can get someone to look at that PR soon!
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